« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
This result exhibits the minimum of population admissible at the period. The central government, particularly the administrations spread over the interior of the country, soon perceived how far they were from the end which they had in view. In the new continent, as well as in the old, every enumeration is considered by the people as a sinister presage of some financial operation. In the fear of an augmentation of imposts, every head of a family endeavoured to diminish the number of individuals of his house, of which he was to furnish a list. The truth of this assertion is very easily demonstrable. Before the enumeration of the Count de Revillagigedo, the capital of Mexico, for example, was believed to contain 200,000 inhabitants. This estimate might be exaggerated; but the tables of consumption, the number of births and burials, and the comparison of these numbers with those of the great ciiies of Europe, all tended to prove that the population of Mexico exceeded at least 135,000 souls; and yet the table printed by order of the viceroy in 1790 exhibits only U12,9-6. In smaller cities, easier to be controuled, the error was still more considerable. Those also who followed in detail the di section of the registers of 1793, judged that the number of inhabitants who hail withdrawn themselves from the general enumeration could by no means be compensated by those, who, wandering about without any fixed domicile, had been several times
included in it. It was supposed that a sixth or a seventh part ought at least to be added to the sum tot il, and the population of all New Spain was accordingly estimated at 5,200,000 souls.
The viceroys who succeeded to the Count de Revillagigedo have never renewed the enumeration; and since that time, the government has paid very little attention to statistical researches. Several memoirs drawn up by intendants on the actual siate of the country confided to their care contain exactly the same numbers as the table of 1793, as if the population could have remained the same for ten years. It is certain, however, that this population has made the most extraordinary progress. The augmentation of tithes and of the Indian capitation, and of all the duties on consumption, the progress of agriculture and civilization, the aspect of a country covered with newly con. structed houses, announce a rapid increase in every part of the kingdom. How are we to conccive then that social institutions can be so defective, and a government so iniquitous, as to pervert the order of nature, and prevent the progressive mul. tiplication of our species in a fertile soil and temperate climate ? Happy the portion of the globe where a peace of three centuries has almost effaced the very recollection of the crimes produce by the fanaticism and insatiable avarice of the first conquerors !
In order to draw up a table of the population
in 1803, and to exhibit numbers as near to the truth as possible, it was necessary to augment the result of the last enumeration : 1. with that part of the inhabitants omitted to be entered in the lists; and 2. with the excess of the births above the burials. I wished rather to adopt a number below the actual population, than to hazard suppositions which might appear extravagant. I have therefore lowered the estimated number of inh. bitants omitted in the general census, and in place of a sixth adopted a tenth.
As to the progressive augmentation of the population since 1793 to the epoch of my journey, I have fixed if from sufficient data. Through the particular kindness with which I was honoured by a respectable prelate, the present Archbishop of Mexico *, I was enabled to enter into minute investigations on the relation between the births and deaths, according to the difference of climates of the central table-land and the regions adjacent to the coast. Several parish priests (curés) interested in the solution of so important a problem as the augmentation or diminution of our species, en. gaged in a very laborious undertaking. They communicated to me the number of baptisms and burials, yearly, from 1752 to 1802; and from the
* Don Francisco Xavier de Lizana. I am also indebted for very important documents to Don Pedro de Fonte, provisor of the archbishopric. See note B, at the end of the work.
whole of these minute registers, which I have preserved, it appears that the proportion of the births to the deaths is nearly as 170 : 100. I shall merely here adduce a few examples to confirm this assertion; and they are so much the more interesting as we have yet no statistical data on the relation of the deaths to the births under the torrid zone.
In the Indian village of Singuilucan, eleven leagues north from the capital, there were from 1750 to 1801, in all, 1950 deaths, and 4560 births: inde, excess of deaths 2610.
In the Indian village of Axapuzco, thirteen leagues north from Mexico, there were, from the period when this village was separated from the parish of Otumba, i. e. from 1767 to 1797, in all, 3511 deaths, and 5528 burials; consequently excess of the births, 2017. . In the Indian village of Malacatepec, twentyeight leagues west from the valley of Tenochtitlan, there were, between 1752 and 1802, in all, 13,734 births, and 10,529 deaths. Excess of births 3205.
In the village of Dolores, from 1756 to 1801, there were, in all, 24,123 deaths, and 61,258 births; hence the extraordinary excess of 37,135 births.
In the city of Guanaxuato, there were, from 1797 to 1802, 12,666 births, and 6294 deaths ; or an excess of 6372 births.
in the village of Marfil, near Guanaxuato, there
were in the same space of time 3702 births, and 1904 deaths; or an excess of 1798 births. .
In the village of St. Anne, near Guanaxuato, there were in five years 3629 births, and 1857 deaths, consequently an excess of 1772 births.
At Yguala, a village situated in a very warm valley near Chilpanzingo, there were during ten years 3373 births, and 2395 deaths, or an excess of 978 births.
In the Indian village Colimaya, situated on a very cold plain, there were, during ten years, 5475 births, and 2602 deaths, or an excess of 2673 births.
In the jurisdiction of the city of Queretaro, there were, in 1793, 5064 births in all, and 2678 deaths, or an excess of 2386 births.
These examples prove that the relation of the deaths to the births is very different according to the climate and salubrity of the air. It is, At Dolores
= 100 : 253 Singuilucan
= 100 : 234 Calimaya
= 100 : 202 Guanaxuato
= 100 : 201 Sta. Ana
= 100 : 195 Marfil
= 100 : 194 Queretaro
= 100 : 188 Axapuzco
= 100 : 157 Yguala
= 100: 140 Malacatepec
= 100: 134 Panuco
= 100 : 123